Quarter Acre Paradise, is an urban working homestead, designed to be an informative example and inspiration to all new and old backyard New Zealand Gardeners, as well as Gardeners worldwide. The displays created here are meant to help encourage the greening of our Country and our World into a garden paradise.
Mr. Harvey is an International Environmental Consultant; Gardening and Landscape Expert; Television, Radio and Magazine Personality; Journalist; Public Speaker; Photographer; Social Scientist and Community Development Officer and Owner of the Quarter Acre Paradise Gardens. In his role as a Gardener, he revels in abundance, colour and fragrance. His specialties include: annuals, bulbs, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines for bountiful harvests and colour throughout all seasons. He loves the fleeting colour massed into borders and corridors, and also the art of container growing which so easily combine to create different displays each season.
Dale, with assistance from Mr. John Newton, grows the gardens, often from seed and cuttings that he uses to create both seasonal and long-term displays. He then photographs the displays, flowers and plants at their peak of perfection. Those pictures are displayed here and also feature on Face Book and in other publications. He then writes highly informative articles about these plants as well as a variety of other subjects for publication, many of which can be accessed on this website. He also uses these articles as the basis of his accomplished Public Speaking, Magazine, Radio and Television career. The information contained in these articles is also available for use in his community and school garden projects that focus on growing a botanically caring, educated and more independent Generation that will inherit our World.
Mr. Newton is a multi-talented Creative Designer. He runs a busy internet floral business, 4flowers Independent Florist Network with over 70 members throughout New Zealand alongside his very successful floral design business catering to the commercial business sector and major Hotels plus a loyal following of private clients. He is a highly accomplished Florist, specializing in Weddings, decorating for conferences, seasonal and special functions as well as producing high quality silk floral creations. He is a well-respected teacher of Silk Floral Arts at two colleges in Auckland. Mr. Newton is famous for his elaborate Christmas and Wedding displays that feature within the Quarter Acre Paradise garden setting and also in the broader commercial and public community. His busy studio is located at the Quarter Acre Paradise and is a focal point for visitors within the gardens. Mr. Newton is also the talented Web Master who manages the content of these garden pages.
The Quarter Acre Paradise Gardens create the background and are the home base for all these activities. The original property is part of Dale's Grandparents' (Rev. Herbert B. and Ruby Lascelles Hughes) orchard homestead established in 1948 and further enhanced by his Aunt Grace "Beth' Hughes until her death in 1984. From that point onward Dale and John have inherited the care-taking of the land. Someone in Dale's Family has been caring and gardening on this land almost daily for nearly 65 years. This gives the gardens an unusual sense of continuity and maturity. Over this mature background, feature an ever-changing, on-going panorama of botanical displays that move and shift like living auroras throughout the seasons.
The Quarter Acre Paradise Gardens have become a landmark and tourist attraction that involves their New Zealand community, including a variety of clubs; private and public organizations and schools; many charity events and groups, plus international guests including companies and organizations from many countries around the world.
The gardens now incorporate the neighboring property which was once owned for nearly 50 years by Dale's passionate garden Neighbors Braun and Joan Johnson. Because both neighboring families gardened together throughout their many decades of friendship, the two properties match up perfectly because they have always been botanically and spiritually united.
The current garden entrance is located in the neighboring 21 Vine Street property. This entrance is linked by a series of interconnecting covered shelters that are used as botanically protected display and growing spaces filled with exotic species mostly grown in thousands of containers. These protective shelters connect to more than two dozen separate garden rooms each set up with a different design and function. There are two impressive 6 meter/20ft high conservatories that provide a startling subtropical & indoor/outdoor garden atmosphere to be enjoyed all year. The largest of these is multi-purpose designed to serve as a decorative lounge, function, meeting and teaching hall plus special event and wedding venue. The other is a Mediterranean and subtropical conservatory where guests can congregate, relax and sit amongst the beautiful plants, many that hang or tower to the roof line.
The conservatories open onto a woods walk including broad leafed evergreen and deciduous woodland rambles; plus a fruit and nut grove featuring some of the mature original orchard trees. A central lawn, encircled with exotic specimens, is used for congregating and seating for charity concerts, special events and functions plus weddings. Cathedral doors connect the larger main events conservatory to a large covered barbecue and servery. This provides easy and comfortable access for morning and afternoon teas plus the catering of meals held in the warm conservatory.
There is a cut-flower meadow adorned with birds and butterflies and a wide variety of lovely blooms interspersed with organically-grown vegetables that helps supply Mr. Newton's floral shop and the kitchen. High terraced garden beds and winding paths feature a wide range of spring bulbs that give way to Begonias, Dahlias, Lilies, Nerines plus much more. These feature plantings are over-planted with masses of annual and perennial seasonal flowers that bloom throughout much of the year. Colourful autumn foliage blends with broad-leafed evergreen New Zealand native vegetation and late-season colour and fragrance. Throughout the winter months, conservatory displays combine with Azaleas, Camellias, Luculia, Orchids, Osmanthus and hardier cool season flowers to create the main features.
There is an authentic bamboo Zen Garden leading to a small pond surrounded by sheltered evergreen plantings. This opens into more lush winding pathways overflowing with exotic and indigenous ferns; flowers and fragrance; many fruit and nut species; as well as a variety of shrubs, trees, and vines from almost every continent that provide shade and protective boundary wind breaks. The skyline as seen from above within the secluded rooftop and tree house gardens, offers panoramic glimpses of these impressive botanical displays planted by Dale’s forebears over three generations.
The biggest surprise is that all this occurs within the boundaries of little more than a 'typical' quarter acre suburban section! Plus this ‘paradise’ has been created on a ‘shoe-string’ budget. So much excitement and interest is happening there in so many places that garden guests frequently become happily 'lost' in this 'garden paradise'. The Quarter Acre Paradise Gardens are essential viewing for anyone who seriously wants to environmentally improve their quality of life or make a definitive ‘green’ statement that will uplift themselves and those they love.
The Quarter Acre Paradise Gardens does not claim to have all the answers to environmental balance and harmony. But it does show by example that caring Garden and Nature Lovers can actually ‘green’ their immediate environment and thus botanically improve their world while remaining in a (sub) urban setting. Once everyone learns how to create their own personal patch of paradise, and actually takes the initiative to do so, the collective implications of this botanical union could save and transform our world into a real-life environmental paradise.
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